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Auto blogThu, 07 Feb 2013 18:29:00 EST
As we reported earlier, the Chicago showing of this plucky Ford Fiesta ST GRC racer points to bigger and brighter days for Global RallyCross. For the upcoming season, you can expect to see Ken Block and Tanner Foust both driving the Ford racecar, and if last season's results are any indication, you can anticipate quite a few podium appearances, as well.
The Fiesta seen here was built by the Swedes at OlsbergsMSE, and will be driven in anger by Foust in 2013. Modifications are, as you'd expect, extensive, and include an engine, exhaust and braking upgrades, a racing style short-throw shifter and a limited-slip differential. As you can see, the car has been fully stripped out and caged for maximum speed and safety, too.
Refresh your memories with the details of the car, in the press releases below. And if you head out to the Chicago Auto Show this year, don't forget to drop by the Ford stand to have a look.
Mike Kluzner is a man of many talents. Not only is he the software engineer responsible for fuel system diagnostics for Ford globally, he "got his start designing laser weapon systems capable of disabling the navigation systems of enemy satellites" for the former Soviet Union. Quite a résumé, wouldn't you say?
You may be asking yourself the same question that popped into our minds upon reading about Mr. Kluzner: What do laser weapon systems have to do with Ford and its EcoBoost engines? We'll let the man answer himself. "The same process for analyzing key physical relationships works for what we do today in engine combustion, catalyst chemistry and mechanics," says Kluzner. "These are all part of Ford's software engineering expertise." Who are we to argue?
Ford also employs an engineer who previously designed software to detect damage to the heat tiles on the International Space Station, as well as one who's past work involved particle physics, says the automaker in the press release below. David Bell (pictured above right), global boost system controls engineer for Ford, describes the software running EcoBoost as "the secret sauce" that makes the technology work as the driver intends and demands.
Perhaps it's fitting that the band Pantera is known for its heavy metal music, because the DeTomaso Pantera is the automotive equivalent of a metal album. It's short, aggressive and makes a mean sound. It doesn't mess around either, with a Ford 351-cubic-inch (5.75-liter) V8 sending mountains of torque to the rear wheels. This week, Jay Leno takes us on a detailed tour of his '71 to show why it rocks.
There's a regular format to Jay Leno's Garage. It starts with Jay and maybe a guest taking a look at the car and talking about its history, and then they take it out on the open road. However, this video is practically a Pantera buyer's guide. Jay is adamant from the start that the last thing anyone should own is a stock example. To remedy this, he and his guest, the editor of the Pantera Club magazine, take viewers to school about some of the ways to turn them into even better performance machines.
No matter what you do to it, though, the Pantera requires that the driver adapt to it, not the other way around. For example, Jay isn't a big guy by most standards, but he has to cram himself into the cockpit with his shoes off and shirt partially unbuttoned just to go for a drive. Still, once out on the road, it all makes sense with that rumbling V8 and those Italian supercar looks. Scroll down to watch and learn a lot more about this uncompromising '70s performance car.